The BSN Practicums in Population Health (BSN PoP) project supports and develops community based practicum experiences to prepare baccalaureate educated RNs to work in community and primary care settings following graduation. Through a Grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), WCU School of Nursing (SON) is playing an active role in preparing nurses for the evolving field of healthcare and the new roles nurses will be required to fill within their scope.
Healthcare services are moving towards payment based on outcomes. Alongside this movement
comes emerging roles for nurses to fill. WCU's SON is helping to prepare nurses for
these emerging roles as care managers for populations in primary and community care
Through the BSN PoP Grant, the SoN has created an enhanced community and primary care clinical practicums for students interested in working in community settings. These practicums are offered to students during their Transition to Practice Course. The practicums offer students opportunities to work one on one with a nurse preceptor in a community setting to foster a deeper understanding of the skills and responsibilities necessary to be a community health nurse.
Preceptors and students are provided training on the Coordination and Care Transitions Model (CCTM) through online learning modules and sim lab scenarios. Students use this model to involve patients and their families in organizing the patient's care activities amongst other healthcare members.
These practicum experiences will also help prepare students to assist clients in navigating
the maze of specialists, appointments, medications, and follow-up appointments. Students
that have completed the course will have stronger skills related to care coordination
Students will be encouraged to engage with the entire healthcare team at their clinical site including: interprofessional team meetings, developing and providing recommendations for clients' care plans, as well as identifying and locating needed resources. By participating students will gain a greater appreciation for social determinants of health, the need for interprofessional collaboration and gain enhanced skills in using data to help care for populations.
Another focus of these experiences is to help the student nurse learn about health care systems and processes and how to articulate the value of the RN care coordinator in supporting improved population health outcomes.
WCU SON has partnered with several community health agencies to act as clinical sites for nursing students participating in the program. At each clinical site a BSN prepared nurse preceptors works one on one with nursing students in the program. Nursing students participate in team-based discussions about patient care and work collaboratively with their preceptor, and the entire healthcare team to develop plans of care for the patients they serve. This team based approach is gaining more momentum as the evidence supports it's vitality towards to the primary care setting.
Students may apply for the program prior to theircommunity health course.
Faculty present information on the program and available clinical sites on advising day prior to registration for community health courses.
WCU is partnering with several community agencies to offer community practicums for students participating in the BSN PoP grant program.